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What Is Conservatism? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2020

The Austrian-born nobleman Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, described himself as a conservative arch-liberal and opposed democratization, mass movements, fascism, and totalitarianism. Kuehnelt-Leddihn is notable for asserting in a variety of scholarly works that had the conservative regimes of Europe survived the First World War, Europe would have avoided the totalitarianism of the 1930s and 40s. At the same time, he accepted numerous tenets of liberalism, including natural rights and the benefits of laissez faire, and was a columnist for publications of the American conservative movement.

Similarly, Otto von Habsburg, at one time the heir to the throne of Austria, was a conservative, a close associate of laissez-faire liberal economist Ludwig von Mises, and a member of the liberal Mont Pelerin Society. An internationalist conservative, opponent of Nazism, and early advocate of European integration, Habsburg was a member of the European Parliament during the 1980s and 1990s, an opponent of communism, and a supporter of what he viewed as traditional European civilization.

https://mises.org/wire/what-conservatism?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=fb30483fde-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-fb30483fde-228343965

Conservatism is a group of political and social ideologies that promote traditional social and political institutions, gradualism in political action, and opposition to radical political and social movements.

As an identifiable international intellectual and political movement, conservatism originated in opposition to the French Revolution, and was heavily influenced in its early years by Edmund Burke’s essay Reflections on the Revolution in France, first published in 1790.1 After the revolution, conservatism spread throughout much of western Europe, and was influential in the ideologies of leading diplomats and intellectuals of the nineteenth century, including Klemens von Metternich, Joseph de Maistre, and Juan Donoso Cortés.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, conservatism was characterized by a preference for political rule by the established elites and aristocrats and opposed to rule by the middle classes or working classes. By the twentieth century, conservatism began to lose its particular attachment to the established aristocracy, but continued to promote rule by natural, untitled elites. In all historical periods, philosophical conservatives have expressed opposition to mass democracy movements, fearing that democracy leads to dictatorship.

The specific policies and political programs favored by conservatives have varied significantly among differing societies, and have changed over time depending on the nature of traditional institutions in each society. The traditional status of capitalism or monarchy or Catholicism, for example, greatly influences the nature of the society that the conservative seeks to preserve.

Today, conservatism is associated with numerous center-right and right-wing political parties throughout Europe and in Anglophone countries including the United States, Canada, and Australia. The degree to which ideological conservatism influences the political programs of such parties is a matter of dispute, however, as modern political parties and movements associated with conservatism often embrace ideological components in conflict with traditional conservatism, such as liberal economics and mass democracy.

Reaction against Revolutions in Europe

The French Revolution and the subsequent destruction of church and royal power in France, followed by the Reign of Terror, was a source of widespread dismay among aristocrats and elites in both Europe and the United States. Even before the Terror, Burke responded to the early stages of the revolution with his Reflections on the Revolution in France, which condemned the revolution on the grounds that it uprooted most traditional French institutions and was based on excessively theoretical assertions. Burke had earlier supported the American Revolution on the grounds that the Americans were seeking to preserve traditional rights and an established way of life against interference from the British crown. In Burke’s view, the French Revolution, unlike the moderate American Revolution, was radical and rootless.

The de-Christianization of France during the revolution, coupled with the destruction of the established aristocratic ruling class, alarmed other intellectuals among the aristocracy throughout Europe in the following decades.

Joseph de Maistre, an aristocrat of Piedmont-Sardinia, called for the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy following the war and embodied the conservative creed of “throne and altar” which Maistre considered essential to maintaining a just and lasting society. Unlike Burke, who promoted individual liberties and decentralization of political power coupled with religious freedom, Maistre was dogmatic in his support of monarchy and traditional religious institutions, going so far as to declare that citizens must respect and even love a despotic ruler. According to Maistre, when faced with a severe and suspicious prince:

There is no better course than resignation and respect, I would even say love, for since we start with the supposition that the master exists and that we must serve him absolutely, is it not better to serve him, whatever his nature, with love than without it?

Later European theorists, such as Juan Donoso Cortés, who supported constitutional monarchy against the liberals and socialists of Spain, were influenced by Maistre either directly or indirectly.

Klemens von Metternich, who in later decades would, perhaps unfairly, become a symbol of right-wing reaction for the European left during the nineteenth century, rejected the more authoritarian and reactionary strains of conservatism found among the disciples of Maistre, and embraced a doctrine of stability through peace and economic progress, and a less authoritarian version of the “throne and altar” doctrine. Metternich, who referred to himself as a “conservative socialist,” urged the formation of a limited parliamentary system in Austria and recommended increases in local self-government, provided that such reforms did not lead to revolutionary changes.

The liberal and socialist revolutions of the mid-nineteenth century continued to spur conservatives toward political action and philosophical argumentation against the perceived excesses of democracy, capitalism, and the revolutions which were spreading across Europe.

The Syllabus of Errors, a papal document published by Pope Pius IX in 1864, represented a significant international victory for the hard-line conservatism of Maistre and Cortés, and to a lesser extent the less authoritarian conservatism of the Metternich school. The document condemned liberalism, socialism, communism, and some forms of rationalism, and denied that “the Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.”

Continental strains of conservatism, most typified by the works of Maistre, Cortés, Metternich, and Friedrich von Gentz, were significant in European political development, but in the centuries since the French Revolution, Burke’s brand of compromising, nonideological conservatism has proven to be the most influential and widespread form of conservatism. This is especially true in the English-speaking world.

Chief characteristics of conservatism that were general across most schools of conservatism prior to World War II include opposition to mass democracy, support for religious institutions, a preference for rule by aristocrats or a natural elite, and an aversion to theories of government not based on established experience.

Conservatism continued to be an influential ideology among the established elites in Europe through the twentieth century. The Congress of Vienna, chaired by Metternich himself, was followed by nearly a century without any large-scale wars in Europe, which contributed to the stability of the conservative regimes then in place, and enabled them to withstand the many liberal and socialist revolutions of the mid-nineteenth century. The success of secular democratic and socialist regimes following the end of the First World War brought the end to conservative dominance in Europe.

Nationalism and Internationalism

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The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism – Consent Factory, Inc.

Posted by M. C. on August 12, 2020

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

https://consentfactory.org/2020/06/29/the-new-pathologized-totalitarianism/

The New (Pathologized) Totalitarianism

It was always going to come to this … mobs of hysterical, hate-drunk brownshirts hunting down people not wearing masks and trying to get them fired from their jobs, “no mask, no service” signs outside stores, security staff stopping the mask-less from entering, paranoid pod people pointing and shrieking at the sight of mask-less shoppers in their midst, goon squads viciously attacking and arresting them …

Welcome to the Brave New Normal.

And it isn’t just the Maskenpflicht-Sturmabteilung. The new official narrative is omnipresent. The corporate media are pumping out hysteria about “Covid-19 hospitalizations” (i.e., anyone admitted to a hospital for anything who tested positive for the coronavirus) and “major incidents” (i.e., people at the beach). Police are manning makeshift social-distancing-monitoring watchtowers in London. There are propaganda posters and billboards everywhere, repeating the same neo-Goebbelsian slogans, reinforcing the manufactured mass hysteria. Dissent and nonconformity are being pathologized, “diagnosed” as psychopathy and paranoia. Mandatory vaccinations are coming.

You didn’t think they were kidding, did you, when they started introducing the Brave New Normal official narrative back in March? They told us, clearly, what was coming. They told us life was going to change … forever. They locked us down inside our homes. They ordered churches and synagogues closed. They ordered the police to abuse and arrest us if we violated their arbitrary orders. They closed the schools, parks, beaches, restaurants, cafés, theaters, clubs, anywhere that people gather. They ripped children out of their mother’s arms, beat and arrested other mothers for the crime of “wearing their masks improperly,” dragged mask-less passengers off of public buses, gratuitously beat and arrested people for not “social-distancing” on the sidewalk, shackled people with ankle monitors, and intimidated everyone with robots and drones. They outlawed protests, then hunted down people attending them and harassed them at their homes. They started tracking everyone’s contacts and movements. They drafted new “emergency” laws to allow them to forcibly quarantine people. They did this openly. They publicized it. It’s not like they were hiding anything.

No, they told us exactly what was coming, and advised us to shut up and follow orders. Tragically, most people have done just that. In the space of four months, GloboCap has successfully imposed totalitarianism — pathologized totalitarianism — on societies all across the world. It isn’t traditional totalitarianism, with a dictator and a one-party system, and so on. It is subtler and more insidious than that. But it is totalitarianism nonetheless.

GloboCap could not have achieved this without the approval (or at least the acquiescence) of the vast majority of the masses. The coronavirus mass hysteria was a masterstroke of propaganda, but propaganda isn’t everything. No one is really fooled by propaganda, or not for long, in any event. As Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari noted in the opening of Anti-Oedipus:

“The masses were not innocent dupes. At a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for.”

I am not going to try to account for the “perversion of the desire of the masses” here in this essay, but I do want to dig into the new pathologized totalitarianism a little bit.

Now, I’m going to assume that you understand that the official “apocalyptic pandemic” narrative is predicated on propaganda, wild speculation, and mass hysteria, and that by now you are aware that we are dealing with a virus that causes mild to moderate symptoms (or absolutely no symptoms at all) in 95% of those infected, and that over 99.5% survive … thus, clearly, no cause for widespread panic or justification for the totalitarian “emergency measures” that have been imposed. I am also going to assume that you watched as GloboCap switched off the “deadly pandemic” to accommodate the BLM protests, then switched it back on as soon as they subsided, and that you noted how their propaganda shifted to “cases” when the death count finally became a little too embarrassing to continue to hype.

So, I won’t waste your time debunking the hysteria. Let’s talk pathologized totalitarianism.

The genius of pathologized totalitarianism is like that old joke about the Devil … his greatest trick was convincing us that he doesn’t exist. Pathologized totalitarianism appears to emanate from nowhere, and everywhere, simultaneously; thus, technically, it does not exist. It cannot exist, because no one is responsible for it, because everyone is. Mass hysteria is its lifeblood. It feeds on existential fear. “Science” is its rallying cry. Not actual science, not provable facts, but “Science” as a kind of deity whose Name is invoked to silence heretics, or to ease the discomfort of the cognitive dissonance that results from desperately trying to believe the absurdities of the official narrative.

The other genius of it (from a GloboCap viewpoint) is that it is inexhaustible, endlessly recyclable. Unlike other official enemies, the “deadly virus” could be any virus, any pathogen whatsoever. All they have to do from now on is “discover” some “novel” micro-organism that is highly contagious (or that mimics some other micro-organism that we already have), and wave it in front of people’s faces. Then they can crank up the Fear Machine, and start projecting hundreds of millions of deaths if everyone doesn’t do exactly as they’re told. They can run this schtick … well, pretty much forever, anytime the working classes get restless, or an unauthorized president gets elected, or just for the sheer sadistic fun of it.

Look, I don’t mean to be depressing, but seriously, spend an hour on the Internet, or talk to one of your hysterical friends that wants to make mask-wearing mandatory, permanently. This is the mentality of the Brave New Normal … irrationally paranoid and authoritarian. So, no, the future isn’t looking very bright for anyone not prepared to behave as if the world were one big infectious disease ward.

I’ve interacted with a number of extremely paranoid corona-totalitarians recently (just as a kind of social experiment). They behave exactly like members of a cult. When challenged with facts and basic logic, first, they flood you with media propaganda and hysterical speculation from “medical experts.” Then, after you debunk that nonsense, they attempt to emotionally manipulate you by sharing their heartbreaking personal accounts of the people their therapists’ brother-in-laws’ doctors had to helplessly watch as they “died in agony” when their lungs and hearts mysteriously exploded. Then, after you don’t bite down on that, they start hysterically shrieking paranoia at you (“JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY INTUBATE YOU!” … “KEEP YOUR SPITTLE AWAY FROM ME!”) and barking orders and slogans at you (“JUST WEAR THE GODDAMN MASK, YOU BABY!” … “NO SHOES, NO SHIRT, NO MASK, NO SERVICE!”)

Which … OK, that would be kind of funny (or terribly sad), if these paranoid people were not just mouthpieces echoing the voice of the official power (i.e., GloboCap) that is transforming what is left of society into a paranoid, pathologized, totalitarian nightmare right before our eyes. They’re kind of like the “woman in red” in The Matrix. When you are talking to them, you’re not talking to them. You’re talking to the agents. You’re talking to the machines. Try it sometime. You’ll see what I mean. It’s like talking to a single algorithm that is running in millions of people’s brains.

I can’t lie to you. I’m not very hopeful. No one who understands the attraction (i.e., the seduction) of totalitarianism is. Much as we may not like to admit it, it is exhilarating, and liberating, being part of the mob, surrendering the burden of personal autonomy and individual responsibility, fusing with a fanatical “movement” that is ushering in a new “reality” backed by the sheer brute force of the state … or the transnational global capitalist empire.

It is irresistible, that attraction, to most of us. The chance to be a part of something like that, and to unleash one’s hatred on those who refuse to go along with the new religion … to publicly ridicule them, to humiliate them, to segregate them from normal society, to hunt them down and get them fired from their jobs, to cheer as police abuse and arrest them, to diagnose them as “abnormal” and “inferior,” these social deviants, these subhuman “others,” who dare to challenge the authority of the Party, or the Church, or the State, or the Reich, or Science.

Plus, in the eyes of GloboCap (and its millions of fanatical, slogan-chanting followers), such non-mask-wearing deviants are dangerous. They are like a disease … an infestation. A sickness in the social body. If they refuse to conform, they will have to be dealt with, quarantined, or something like that.

Or they can just surrender to the Brave New Normal, and stop acting like babies, and wear a goddamn mask.

After all, it’s just a harmless piece of cloth.

CJ Hopkins
June 29, 2020
Photos: (1) DHVANI billboard/pymnts.com; (2) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek.

CJ Hopkins Summer 2018 thumbnail

DISCLAIMER: The preceding essay is entirely the work of our in-house satirist and self-appointed political pundit, CJ Hopkins, and does not reflect the views and opinions of the Consent Factory, Inc., its staff, or any of its agents, subsidiaries, or assigns. If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, please feel free to contact him directly.

Be seeing you

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The Seven-Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on July 30, 2020

https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/23/the-seven-step-path-from-pandemic-to-totalitarianism/

There are just seven steps from pandemic declaration to permanent totalitarianism – and many jurisdictions are about to start Step 5

Rosemary Frei

As if it was planned in advance, billions of people around the globe are being forced step by rapid step into a radically different way of life, one that involves far less personal, physical and financial freedom and agency.

Here is the template for rolling this out.

Step 1

A new virus starts to spread around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares a pandemic.

International agencies, public-health officials, politicians, media and other influential voices fan fear by focusing almost exclusively on the contagiousness of the virus and the rising numbers of cases, and by characterizing the virus as extremely dangerous.

Within a few days governments at national and local levels also declare states of emergency. At lightning speed they impose lock-down measures that confine most people to their homes – starting with closing schools – and shut down much of the global economy. World markets implode.

The stunned, fearful and credulous public – convinced over the previous few years that their bodies do not have the natural ability to react to pathogens by producing antibodies that confer long-lasting immunity – largely complies willingly.

The first weekly virtual class on local emergency and crisis responses to COVID19 is held for mayors and other city officials around the world. Coordinated by a handful of American organizations in the academic, medical, financial, political and transportation spheres, the classes feature guests ranging from Barack Obama to Bill Gates.

Step 2

National, state/provincial and municipal leaders, as well as public-health officials, start daily press briefings. They use them to pump out frightening statistics and modelling asserting the virus has the potential to kill many millions.

Most of this information is hard to decipher and sheds little real light on the natural course of the virus’s spread through each geographic area.

Officials and media downplay or distort inconveniently low death tolls from the virus and instead focus on alarming statistics produced by compliant academics, social-media influencers and high-profile organizations.

The main message is that this is a war and many lives are at stake unless virtually everybody stays at home. Mainstream media amplify the trope that the world is at the mercy of the virus.

Simultaneously, central banks and governments hand out massive amounts of cash largely to benefit the big banks. And they bring in giant private-sector financial firms to manage the process despite these global companies’ very poor track record in the 2008-2009 crash. Governments also rapidly start to create trillions of pounds’ worth of programs that include compensating businesses and workers for their shutdown-related losses.

Step 3

There is a concerted effort by all levels of government and public health to very rapidly ramp up testing for viral RNA, along with production of personal protective equipment.

They push aside the need for regulation, including quality standards and independent verification of tests’ rates of accuracy, by insisting that fast approval and roll-out are imperative for saving lives.

Models are released that predict snowballing of numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths even under best-case scenarios.

At about the same time, public-health officials significantly loosen the criteria for viral infections, outbreaks and deaths, particularly in the oldest members of society. That increases the numbers of cases and deaths ascribed to the new pathogen.

The media continue to clamour for more testing and for severe punishment of people who aren’t completely compliant with the lock-down measures.

As a result, there’s little backlash as police and military with sweeping new powers enforce these measures and give stiff penalties or even jail terms to those who disobey orders. States also monitor with impunity massive numbers of people’s movements via their cellphones.

Vast human resources are focused on tracking down people who have had contact with a virus-positive individual and confining them to their homes. Thus the portion of the public exposed to the virus remains relatively small.

It also contributes to social isolation. Among many effects, this enables those in control to even further erase individual and collective choices, voices and power.

Step 4

When the numbers of cases and deaths start to plateau, local officials claim it’s too early to tell whether the virus has finished passing through their population and therefore, restrictive measures must continue.

An alternative narrative is that if such measures aren’t kept in place there will be a resurgence of cases and deaths. Yet another is that the continuing climb in elderly persons’ deaths means all bets are off for the time being.

They admit that initial models incorrectly predicted there would be a tsunami of cases, ICU admissions and deaths. However, they assert more time is needed before it can be determined whether it’s safe to loosen some of the restrictions and let children return to school or adults go back to work.

Officials do not try to calculate the overall skyrocketing cost to their populations and economies of the shut-downs and other measures against, nor do they discuss what cost level may be too high.

They and powerful media organizations also push for the massive virus-testing over-capacity to be used to surveil the general population for viral RNA in their bodies. At the same time, the roll-out begins of widespread blood testing for antibodies to the virus.

Meanwhile, new data are published showing the virus has a high capacity to mutate. Scientists and officials interpret this as meaning a larger medical arsenal will be needed to combat it.

Step 5

About two or three weeks later, the dramatic increase in testing for viral RNA produces the desired goal of a significant upsurge in the number of people found positive for the virus.

Public-health officials add jet fuel to the surge by adding to their case and death tallies the large number of people who are only suspected – and not lab-test-confirmed – to have had an infection. Politicians and public-health officials tell the populace this means they cannot return to their jobs or other activities outside the home for the time being.

Governments work with public-health agencies, academics, industry, the WHO and other organizations to start to design and implement immunity-passport systems for using the results of the widespread antibody testing to determine who can be released from the lock-downs. This is one of many goals of the seven steps.

Meanwhile, government leaders continue to highlight the importance of vaccines for besting the virus.

Step 6

Large-scale human testing of many different types of antivirals and vaccines begins, thanks to a concerted push from the WHO, Bill Gates and his collaborators, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, governments and universities.

Large swaths of the population don’t have the antibodies to the virus because they’ve been kept from being exposed to it; they eagerly accept these medications even though they’ve been rushed to market with inadequate safety testing. They believe these medical products offer the only hope for escaping the virus’s clutches.

Step 7

Soon the new virus starts another cycle around the globe – just as influenza and other viruses have every year for millennia. Officials again fan the flames of fear by positing the potential for millions of deaths among people not yet protected from the virus.

They rapidly roll out virus and antibody testing again, while companies sell billions more doses of antivirals and booster vaccines.

Governments simultaneously cede control of all remaining public assets to global companies. This is because local and national governments’ tax bases were decimated during Step 1 and they’re virtually bankrupt from their unprecedented spending in the war against the virus in the other steps.

The overall result is complete medicalization of the response to the virus, which on a population level is no more harmful than influenza.

This is coupled with the creation of permanent totalitarianism controlled by global companies and a 24/7 invasive-surveillance police state supported by widespread blossoming of ‘smart’ technology.

The key players repeat the cycle of hysteria and massive administration of antivirals and booster shots every few months.

And they implement a variation of steps 1 to 7 when another new pathogen appears on the planet.

Sounds far-fetched? Unfortunately, it’s not.

With the arrival of COVID19 many countries quickly completed Steps 1, 2 and 3.

Step 4 is well under way in a large number of jurisdictions.

Step 5 is on track to start in early May.

Rosemary Frei has an MSc in molecular biology from a faculty of medicine and was a freelance medical writer and journalist for 22 years. She is now an independent investigative journalist in Toronto, Ontario. You can find her earlier article on the novel coronavirus for Off-Guardian here, watch and listen to an interview she gave on COVID19 and follow her on Twitter.

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Brave New Normal – Part 2 – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on May 22, 2020

https://off-guardian.org/2020/05/21/brave-new-normal-part-2/

CJ Hopkins

My columns haven’t been very funny recently. This one isn’t going to be any funnier. Sorry. Fascism makes me cranky.

I don’t mean the kind of fascism the corporate media and the fake Resistance have been desperately hyping for the last four years. God help me, but I’m not terribly worried about a few hundred white-supremacist morons marching around with tiki torches hollering Nazi slogans at each other, or Jewish-Mexican-American law clerks flashing “OK” signs on TV, or smirking schoolkids in MAGA hats.

I’m talking about actual, bona fide fascism, or totalitarianism, if you want to get technical. The kind where governments declare a global “state of emergency” on account of a virus with a 0.2% to 0.6% lethality (and that causes mild, flu-like symptoms, or absolutely no symptoms whatsoever, in over 97% of those infected), locks everyone down inside their homes, suspends their constitutional rights, terrorizes them with propaganda, and unleashes uniformed goon squads on anyone who doesn’t comply with their despotic decrees.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the police track you down with your smartphone data and then come to your house to personally harass you for attending a political protest, or attack you for challenging their illegitimate authority, and then charge you with “assault” for fighting back, and then get the media to publish a story accusing you of having “set up” the cops.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism where the secret police are given carte blanche to monitor everyone’s Internet activity, and to scan you with their “surveillance helmets,” and dictate how close you can sit to your friends, and menace you with drones and robot dogs, and violently pry your kids out of your arms and arrest you if you dare to protest.

I’m talking about the kind of totalitarianism that psychologically tortures children with authoritarian loyalty rituals designed to condition them to live in fear, and respond to absurd Pavlovian stimuli, and that encourages the masses to turn off their brains and mechanically repeat propaganda slogans, like “wear a mask” and “flatten the curve,” and to report their neighbors to the police for having an “illegal” private party … and to otherwise reify the manufactured mass hysteria the authorities need to “justify” their totalitarianism.

Yeah, that kind of stuff makes me cranky.

And you know what makes me really cranky? I’ll tell you what makes me really cranky.

It is people who publicly project themselves as “anti-authoritarians” and “anti-fascists,” or who have established their “anti-establishment” brands and “dissident” personas on social media, or even in the corporate media, either zealously cheerleading this totalitarianism or looking away and saying nothing as it is rolled out by the very authorities and media propagandists they pretend to oppose.

I don’t know exactly why, but that stuff makes me particularly cranky.

I’ll provide you with a few examples. Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Fix College Admissions – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2020

We do not want government run newspapers or television stations. They should function as checks and balances against an overweening public sector, e.g., totalitarianism. But exactly the same principle applies to higher education. None of these institutions can accomplish this role under the thumb of government.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/04/walter-e-block/how-to-fix-college-admissions/

By

First we separate all institutions of higher learning into two categories. In one, we include those that are purely private, which accept no direct subsidies from government whatsoever; in the other, all the rest.

Into the first classification we place Hillsdale College, Michigan; Grove City College, Pennsylvania; University of San Francisco, California; Christendom College, Virginia; Pensacola Christian College, Florida; Patrick Henry College, Virginia; Wyoming Catholic College, Wyoming; Gutenberg College, Oregon; Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudic Seminary of Denver, Colorado; Biola University, California; Bob Jones University, South Carolina, Goldsboro Christian Schools, North Carolina. There may be a few more, but not too many.

What should be our perspective on the admissions policies of universities in this first, private category? They may do exactly as they please. We live, hopefully, in a free country, and freedom means the right to inaugurate your own policies, provided, only, that you do not violate the rights of others. No one has any right to be enrolled in any of these places without the permission of their owners. That would constitute trespass. High up on the list of liberty is freedom of association. These colleges should admit whoever they choose, with no non-discrimination requirements imposed upon them at all. They may use SAT and ACT to their heart’s content. Or not.

What of the remaining 99.99% of universities in the country which are directly subsidized, or owned outright, by the state? While private persons and schools should be free to discriminate, the same does not apply to government or quasi governmental institutions. They should not be allowed to discriminate on any basis whatsoever. For example, the controversial ACT and SAT tests should be forbidden to them as admission criteria.  These discriminate, mainly, between people with high and low IQs. It is intolerable for a state or state-related institution to make such an invidious distinction. After all, the government does not impose intelligence tests on those it admits to its buses, trains, libraries, parks, hospitals, museums, art galleries, concert halls, zoos, sports arenas, beaches, etc. In some countries, the government owns the airlines; in Canada, PetroCan owned a string of gas stations. No intelligence requirement was obligatory for service from these state institutions either.

This non-discrimination policy should apply not only to admissions, but also to grading. Enrolling students who can hardly read, write or do math will not suffice, for with any such system they will soon fail out. Other public institutions, see above, have no such grading systems, which would remove the intellectually non-gifted after a while. There is simply no justification for doing so in education either. This is NOT satire. I am very serious about this. These recommendations follow, logically, from the premise that it is and should be unlawful for government to discriminate against the intellectually challenged.

Of course, this would spell the ruination of these public universities. At present, the following US institutions are highly ranked in terms of prestige: University of California , Los Angeles; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill; University of Virginia; Georgia Institute of Technology; University of Texas, Austin; University of Florida; University of Georgia; University of California, Berkeley; Indiana University.  So are these ostensibly “private” ones: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Chicago, Stanford, Duke, Hopkins. Many of these are highly ranked in world compilations. Were freedom instituted, none of this would be true any longer. Smart students would no longer enroll due to the intellectual diversity of open admission. Accomplished professors would go elsewhere.

Would that be a detriment to this modest proposal? Of course not. If these universities wished to retain the prestige they presently justifiably enjoy, they will have to eschew all direct government grants (the relation between the state and their students is entirely a different matter, and an irrelevant one). But this is precisely the goal of the freedom philosophy. The desiderata is not only separation of church and state, but, also, separation of education and state. We do not want government run newspapers or television stations. They should function as checks and balances against an overweening public sector, e.g., totalitarianism. But exactly the same principle applies to higher education. None of these institutions can accomplish this role under the thumb of government.

Be seeing you

 

 

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